Learn Chinese word radical – Bone

I’m linking to the above youtube video because it deals with a health issue related to what we are discussing today – 骨 (gǔ bones), and also because Bob and Brad are my favorite physical therapists on the Internet.

The character 骨 (gǔ) is used as a radical for just a few Chinese words. 骨骼 (gǔgé) or 骨骸 (gǔ hái) refers to the anatomical skeleton. 骷髅 (kūlóu) are the skull and bones of a dead human being or animal, like the ones featured on Halloween. 骰子 (shǎi zi or tóu zi) are dice. 滑 (huá) means slippery or to slip.

In everyday language we say 骨头 (gǔtou) instead of simply 骨 (gǔ). So, lazy bones are called 懒骨头 (lǎn gǔtou).

Here are a few parts of the human skeleton. Learn these words so that when you make a visit to 骨科 (gǔkē orthopedics), you will be able to refer to the correct part that ails you. 额骨 (égǔ) frontal bone
颚骨 (ègǔ) jawbone
骨脊 (gǔjí) spine
椎骨 (zhuígǔ) vertebra
骨节 (gǔjié) joint
坐骨 (zuògǔ) ischium
坐骨神经痛 (zuògǔshénjīng tòng) sciatica
骨刺 (gǔcì) bone spurs
骨盆 (gǔpén) pelvis
骨髓 (gǔsuǐ) bone marrow
骨干 (gǔgàn) is the backbone. 骨干企业 (gǔgàn qǐyè) means the key enterprise.

骨化 (gǔ huà) is to ossify, and 骨灰 (gǔhuī) are the ashes of the dead.

骨肉 (gǔròu) means flesh and blood. The phrase 骨肉相連 (gǔròu xiānglián) means closely linked like flesh and blood.

骨瘦如柴 (gǔshòurúchái) describes a person who is skinny like firewood.

骨 (gǔ) also connotes the essence of one’s character. So, 骨气 (gǔqì) means the strength of character or moral integrity. A person with 傲骨 (àogǔ) is one who has a lofty and unyielding character.

Literally, 骨子里 (gǔzilǐ) means in one’s bones. Figuratively, it refers to one’s true (often not so noble) intentions.

表面上他态度诚恳,但我们知道他的骨子里别有用心.
Biǎomiàn shàng tā tàidu chéngkěn, dàn wǒmen zhīdào tā de gǔzilǐ biéyǒuyòngxīn.
On the surface he acts cordially, but we know he has ulterior motives.

In the article I posted on 9/29/20, we came across the word 露骨 (lùgǔ showing one’s bones). This expression describes a remark or action that is considered point-blank, explicit, or without polite disguise.

骨器 (gǔqì) are objects made out of bones. Yes, it sounds exactly the same as 骨气 (gǔqì).

骨牌 (gǔpái) is the game of domino.

脫胎換骨 (tuōtāihuàngǔ) is to be reborn, i.e. totally transformed.

他自从去了巴黎就脱胎换骨, 变了一个人.
Tā zìcóng qùle bālí jiù tuōtāihuàngǔ, biànle yīgè rén.
Since he went to Paris, he has changed completely into a different person.

刻骨铭心 (kègǔmíngxīn) means to be engraved on one’s bones and heart. This expression is often used in a thank you letter to say that one will remember the favor with gratitude to the end of one’s life.

粉身碎骨 (fěnshēnsuìgǔ) means to have one’s body smashed to pieces.

我愿为她粉身碎骨, 在所不辞.
Wǒ yuàn wéi tā fěnshēnsuìgǔ, zài suǒ bùcí.
I’m willing to break my bones for her and not hesitate under any circumstances.

连皮带骨 (lián pí dài gǔ) means skin, bones and all, i.e. the whole thing.

当心啊! 别让那怪物把你连皮带骨给吃了!
Dāngxīn a! Bié ràng nà guàiwù bǎ nǐ lián pídài gǔ gěi chīle!
Beware! Don’t let that monster swallow you whole!

万圣节快乐
Wànshèngjié kuàilè!
Happy Halloween!

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